Review: Candy Claws – Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time
Published on August 16th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Turns out that Loveless + SMiLE = every bit as good as that sounds. There’s more to Candy Claws’s new album Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time than just that ‘simple’ (for all that it entails) equation, but that’s the quick version of it.
That’s not to say that Candy Claws are just rehashing, by the way. It is, rather, to say that they’ve come up with the goods to a really quite gobsmacking degree. Make no mistake, if this had come out on a renowned indie label at the beginning of the ’90s, we’d all still be referring to it in hushed, reverential tones.
We could scarcely believe our ears once we were pointed in the direction of Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time by trusted Rocksucker source Tony SoapCo of The Soap Company. Where had Candy Claws been all our lives?
Taken a listen for yourselves and tell us we’re not crazy. This is astonishing stuff, right?
Can’t be arsed to listen to it? Let us tell you about it.
Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time begins with “Into the Deep Time”, which takes the preliminary step of a little drum fill then crashes MBV-like straight into a whirring, stomping dreamscape of immersion with near impossibly swoonsome degrees of semitone-cascading melody dripping all over it like honey.
It’s so good it gets you writing sentences like that. That’s how good it is.
On “White Seal (Shell & Spine)”, the rhythm takes on a shuffle as the melody reaches into the realms of the super-exotic. Tinkles of accordion glow atop the exquisite maelstrom of distorted effects and breathy boy/girl vocals as luscious as the heavenly melodies they weave (yes we’ve used the word ‘melody’ a lot so far…but, you see, there’s a lot of it).
There’s a guitar solo, yet it only furthers the sense of otherworldly exotica. Everything Candy Claws touch turns to gorgeous. Though it’s hard to discern what they’re singing about – which is a shame, as it’s doubtless ace – frankly it doesn’t matter all that much when the music itself sweeps you away so utterly.
“Fell in Love (At the Water)” sounds a bit like Cocteau Twins at a creepy abandoned fairground, enriched with Pet Sounds-y elements like plinky bass and tooting organ. You might call it derivative, and you might have a point, but it’s all cast in such a different setting as to be so so, so thrilling.
Besides, you could just as easily label virtually everything as derivative, so pack it in.
Psst! Hey, kid! Wanna hear one of the most unexpected and imaginative choruses *ever* made? Then listen to “Pangea Girls (Magic Feeling)”. This is music that’s incredibly clever, but you might not notice that at first because it sounds so instantly gratifying.
That’s the mark of the very best, and with each passing listen Rocksucker feels more and more inclined to include Candy Claws in that bracket. If we had to pick a fault then we’d argue that there might’ve been a tad more variety on the second half of the album, a little more deviation from the established formula…
…but it’s a formula so vibrant, so compelling and with so much packed into it that it would be quite, quite churlish to quibble.
After all, “Illusion (Fern Lake)” shakes with foreboding rattles of organ and grumbles of deep, bassy horn, while “Night Ela (Mystic Thing)” drapes enchanting nocturnalism lovingly over a popping ‘n’ clicking drum machine before “Where I Found You (One Star)” escorts us out of what seems to have been some kind of beautiful dream.
We were *this* close to giving Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time the full five-quail treatment, which rarely gets done in these parts; yours truly is yet to grant it to any album released this year. The slight dip in magnificence we perceive as the album wears on has put paid to that for now, but it is only slight and could conceivably be put down to an acclimatisation of the senses to the bombardment of shimmering beauty.
It must be said though that the more new music Rocksucker consumes, the less we have time to return to things. Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time is one of the precious few to have truly sunk its claws – its Candy Claws – in.
Don’t just listen to the embedded album. Buy it. And pay over the odds, will you? The world needs to hear more from Candy Claws.
Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!